1. Take the Right Classes

2. Volunteer or Get an Internship

3. Stay on Track

4. Get Help

Take the Right Classes

Taking appropriate college-bound courses is especially important now that you're in high school. College Admissions departments will check to see which classes you've taken and if they were sufficiently challenging. Taking challenging classes will also enable you to transition effectively from high school to college. Talk to your school counselors to see which courses will help you get to college.

A-F (A-G) Courses

In California, A-F (or A-G) courses are a menu of Honors courses available to high school students that make them eligible for acceptance into universities in California. (If you don't live in California, check with your school to see which courses you should take to be eligible for acceptance into your state's colleges and universities.)

The following A-F courses are considered standard for college entry:

  • 4 years of college prep English
  • 3 years of college prep math (4 recommended)
  • 2 years of foreign language (consecutive years, same language)
  • 2-3 years lab science
  • 1 year of world history/1 year of US history
  • 2 years other electives approved by college
  • 1 year of visual arts
College Prep Math

College prep math includes algebra, geometry and integrated math (algebra, geometry, problems and statistics in one course)

PARENTS: Ask what kind of math your child needs to take--make sure the course fulfills college requirements.

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP classes allow you to earn college credit while attending high school. It also prepares you for college and shows that you've challenged yourself academically.

What is required to take AP classes?

You must meet certain criteria in order to take AP classes. Find out what is required by talking to school counselors and teachers. Sometimes students can take AP classes when they haven't met the criteria. Often there are alternatives available to such students, so it's important to investigate. If you're taking AP classes, parents may need to provide additional support. Begin taking AP classes early in high school.

PARENTS: Learn the difference between Advanced Placement and Honors courses.

I'm taking Honors and AP classes. Am I guaranteed to get into college?

Unfortunately, no. College Admissions Staff look for several factors for to determine acceptance, which may include:

  • Are you taking Honors and AP classes?
  • What are your grades?
  • Are you involved in any school clubs or activities?
  • Have you performed any volunteer work outside of school?

Next: Volunteer or Get an Internship

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